Bereavement is familiar to all of us and most don’t know how to cope with it. People we love die. Our dreams die. Our passions die. Our marriages die. Instantly, we begin to feel the concoction of numbness and shock flow through our bodies. Some of us become paralyzed by the pain of bereavement. It’s too much to carry. A memory of a person we love flashes into our minds and we find ourselves struggling to breathe like a fish out of water.
We feel the weight of the world pressing in around us while we feel we can’t feel anything at all and we long to feel something. Sorrow is our breakfast, anger is our lunch, and tears are our dinner. We try to sleep thinking tomorrow will be better, but we only wake up to realize nothing has changed.
Things like fear and anxiety start to become the close company you never wanted to keep. They don’t seem to leave or ever sleep. They work tirelessly around the clock to wear you down. Depression is always lurking around the corner waiting for the perfect moment to bring you to nothing. Depression lives at the corner of rock bottom and hopelessness. It will try to get you to establish your residence in isolation. It doesn’t take long before we’re there. We all seem to wind up in isolation at some point, all alone, and feeling as cold as the body in the casket we watched be buried beneath the ground.
It is an even darker place to be in when your desires die. It is in that place of nothingness that so many exist year in and year out. It is a sad state of lifelessness where the living live as dead as the dead. Guilt from what we could have done differently in the past begins to settle in and guilt for being in the place we’re in refuses to let go. It’s a vicious daily cycle of emotions trying to handle death. Death is a place we never wanted to travel to and a place we all want to leave.
How to cope with bereavement
How do we escape? What’s the answer? How do we cope with death and bereavement? Here are three guaranteed ways to survive death.
1. TRUST JESUS
Jesus is life. I don’t find that trusting Jesus takes away the pain. But trusting Jesus does change my perspective and He helps me survive. He is the resurrection and the life. If you believe in Him, you will never die. Your life will go on forever in Heaven. Intentionally choosing to trust Him keeps me from blaming Him. You’ll either trust Him or blame Him. There isn’t a third option. When I trust Him to be enough for me, He gives me peace. I must do this daily. You must do this if you want to cope with death.
2. SHARE JESUS
I don’t find that sharing Jesus with others takes away my pain. But sharing Jesus does make me thankful. Sharing Jesus gets the focus off of my pain and on to helping others in their pain. In giving others hope I often find hope myself. When I choose to share Jesus with others, my eyes are opened to how much Jesus has shared with me in my life. When it’s painful, it’s a relief to be grateful. I must do this daily. You must do this if you want to cope with death.
3. BECOME JESUS
Life is about becoming like Jesus. The quickest way to do this is to surrender your life to His control so that He lives in and through you. He produces in me what I need to survive. When we experience death in any way we often retreat to a place of isolation even from Jesus. Remember, Jesus is life! It doesn’t make sense when we experience death to isolate ourselves from the only source of life! Becoming like Jesus through surrender is the greatest way to cope with death. I must do this daily. Prayer is the key. You must do this daily if you want to cope with death.
Jesus is the escape. Jesus is the answer. Jesus is life so only He can ease, relieve, and even eliminate your pain. Only He has the answer to our problem of death. His words heal and His presence gives strength. Talk to Jesus. You can’t cope with death on your own. You need someone greater than you. You need Jesus.
Don Jennings is a pastor and author in Denver, Colorado. You can follow his ministry at DonJennings3.com and on Facebook Don Jennings.
Also Read: Death Of A Loved One… How Will You Cope When It’s ‘Time To Say Goodbye?’